Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Winning Three Times Over!

This weekend, I attended the Southern Women’s Show for the first time. It was great! There were speakers, fashion shows, cooking demos and a ton of booths and deals to be had.

As my friends and I moved from booth to booth, we came across one that sold a steamer that worked better than an iron. As we watched the demo, it easily removed wrinkles from a variety of fabrics – but that wasn’t all! There was an attachment that allowed the steam iron to be used for a steaming facial. Beautifully wrinkle-free clothes and a beautiful face, who could ask for more?

One of my friends was sold. As she pulled out her credit card, another woman approached the demonstrator. She pulled out her steam iron and announced rather abruptly that it did not work. My friend kept her credit card in hand.

The demonstrator didn’t bat an eyelash. She didn’t get annoyed. She didn’t get flustered. She didn’t show any frustration or aggravation. She began removing the ‘defective’ iron from the box. She said with confidence that she’d been with the company for eight years and a defective iron was rare. However, if it was actually defective, she’d replace it immediately.

As she filled it with water, all of us stood there waiting to see what happened. After it was filled with water, we waited. She continued to talk about the product and why some people encounter problems. She also threw in a few more selling points in the process.

Finally, she brought out another wrinkled shirt and using the ‘defective’ iron, she easily removed the wrinkles.

It worked.

The woman with the problem was pleased. My friend handed over her credit card and made the purchase. At no time were there any elevated emotions, hurt feelings or bruised egos.

Here is what I noticed about the woman doing the demonstration:

1. She had confidence in her product. She was sure, right out of the gate, that the product was not defective.

2. She knew common complaints or issues with the product. As she spoke to us, she asked the dissatisfied customer if she had changed the type of water used or how much water she used. Finally, she asked how long she had waited for the product to warm up. It turns out that she had not waited the requisite period of time for the iron to heat up.

3. She remained upbeat. She did not allow the disgruntled customer to shake her demeanor.

4. She quickly gave two alternatives: either it would work or she would immediately replace it.

In the end, the dissatisfied customer was satisfied and the new customer (my friend) was even more excited about making her purchase.

I call that a win-win and win!